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Some Recent Books…

Posted on Sunday, August 7, 2011 in Books, Conlanging, Library Additions, Review

Okay, not recent in the sense of recently published but recent in the sense of “I just recently checked them out of my local library.” I thought I’d get them on the record with some links and brief reviews:

  • Writing Systems: A Linguistic Approach by Henry Rogers (2005) Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Buy online from an indie bookstore Find at a library near you
  • Case (2nd ed., Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics) by Barry J. Blake (2001) Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Buy online from an indie bookstore Find at a library near you
  • English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation by Beth Levin (1993) Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Buy online from an indie bookstore Find at a library near you

The icons link to places you can either purchase the books Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide Buy online from an indie bookstore or look for them at your local library through WorldCat Find at a library near you. These icons have also begun to be incorporated into the entries in The Conlanger’s Library as well.

Writing Systems (part of the Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics series) covers a wide range of ancient and modern scripts and should serve as a good source of inspiration for conlangers developing “native” writing systems for their conlangs. While not exhaustive in its coverage, it does provide enough detail on the scripts to give the aspiring con-scripter the ability either to work directly from the information from the book or to begin to dig deeper on the Internet or databases for additional in-depth details on a writing system of interest. Personally, I really liked Rogers’ information in the sections on “Cuneiform”, “Semitic”, “Indian Abugida and Other Asian Writing”, and “Other Writing Systems”.

Blake’s Case is typical of the Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics (e.g., cover, layout, etc.). The abundant interlinear translations provide excellent examples of each topic covered. Lots of good inspiration for going beyond the “usual” case systems. The “Language Index” references well over 150 languages used as illustrative examples, from Abaza to Zoque.

Levin’s English Verb Classes has been recommended by none other than David J. Peterson at LCC4. The book is a tour-de-force of (no surprise) English verb classes and their alternations. As David suggested, this is a great source for developing a con-vocabulary.

None of these are cheap. If you can’t afford adding them to your personal conlanging bookshelf, they are well worth checking out at your local (public or academic) library. If they don’t have them on the shelf, don’t forget to request them through the interlibrary loan service. Most libraries will borrow items for you from outside the local area.

Enjoy! And happy conlanging!

(P.S. I almost forgot to add that Sylvia Sotomayor was instrumental in helping me get those icons incorporated into the Library. She did coding and was exceptionally patient in guiding me through the updates needed. lelāñ, Sylvia!)

Bring on the comments

  1. Sylvia Sotomayor says:

    īle ī;

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